Joint pain resident survival guide

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mohammadmain Rezazadehsaatlou M.D.[2].



Overview

Joint pain, also known as Arthralgia (from Greek arthro-, joint + -algos, pain), occurs due to a wide spectrum of causes such as trauma, infection, inflammation, bone and/or cartilage degeneration, allergic reaction to medication, and crystal deposition. Meanwhile, its been recommended that the words arthralgia and arthritis should be used when the underlying cause of the joint pain is non-inflammatory and inflammatory, respectively.

As an orthopedic resident you have to evaluate the patients in order to localize the joint pain finding the underlying pathophysiologic cause/causes responsible for this problem for your patients which you have to evaluate a wide spectrum of differential diagnosis in order to find the main related cause. for this purpose you have to have a complete past medical history from your patient.

Causes

The Arthralgia occurs due to a wide spectrum of problems including the degenerative and destructive processes ( arthritis and sports injuries) inflammation of tissues around the joint (bursitis) or even it might be due to the other problems such as infections or vaccinations. In other words the joint pain can be found due to the thee main causes:

Inflammatory arthritis:

Which resulting primarily from inflammation affecting joint structures like synovium, synovial cavity, and entheses.

Noninflammatory arthritis:

Which resulting primarily from change in the structure or mechanics of the joint.

Arthralgia

Which resulting primarily from joint tenderness without joint abnormalities.

Life Threatening Causes

Life-threatening causes include conditions which may result in death or permanent disability within 24 hours if left untreated.

Common Causes

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Do's

  • The content in this section is in bullet points.

Don'ts

  • The content in this section is in bullet points.

References